Did you know AHBC was nominated by an amazing pet parent for the Pets Best Insurance 2018 “My Vet’s the Best” Contest? Get the details. We invite you to learn more about our story. Read our Core Values. And meet our mascots!

Client Relations Specialists:


Client Relations Specialist

Kara was born in Atlanta, GA then moved to the Cary/Raleigh area when she was a toddler and ever since has called this area home. After graduating from Athens Drive High School she pursued a degree in Zoology from NC State where she discovered animal behavior is her passion. She started in the veterinary field in early 2009 and has worked her way from kennel assistant to kennel manager then while working as a Veterinary Technician discovered that reception is where she thrives. When not working Kara loves to spend time with her family including a Dutch Shepherd mix, Hepburn, a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, Lady Anya, and a long haired tuxedo kitty, Punky Brewster, as well as crocheting, learning about animal behavior and watching scary movies. She is currently working on becoming a dog trainer in the next few years.

Joy Palumbo

Client Relations Specialist

Diane Smith

Client Relations Specialist
I have always had a love for animals. Growing up I had all the pets most children have: gerbils, dogs, cats, and guinea pigs. I read James Herriot’s book about his life as a veterinarian in the 1930’s and decided that’s what I wanted to be. I attended Harcum College and rec’d my degree as a veterinary technician and enjoyed working in that profession for many years but left due to financial issues. I always looked forward to the day when I could get back into it in some capacity. I eventually found volunteer work at a dog rescue in North Carolina that helped me follow my dream of caring for lots of dogs and now I am blessed to be able to work at AHBC helping both pets and their owners.

Veterinary Assistants: Our Pet Care Specialists


Lead Veterinary Assistant

Craig Downes joined the Animal Hospital at Brier Creek team as an assistant October of 2019 and more recently took on the role of Lead Veterinary Assistant. He is happy to be a part of the AHBC team, where he learns something new every day and gets to care for the cats and dogs that he loves.

Craig is originally from southwestern Pennsylvania. He graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science. After graduating, he worked at a community college as a microbiology lab assistant while volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation and rescue center for Pennsylvania’s wildlife as well as a no-kill animal shelter. Craig moved to the Fayetteville/Raeford area of North Carolina to work at a pet resort as an Animal Care Technician. During his three years working at the pet resort, Craig also volunteered at a Clark Park Nature Center in Fayetteville where he helped with the educational outreach programs, caring for animals in the reptile and amphibian exhibits, and feeding shows.

Craig’s hobbies include exploring nature, volunteering, singing with a barbershop group, playing Nintendo video games, and cooking and gardening.

Veterinary Nurses: Committed to the Best Care


Veterinary Nurse

Brad has a degree in applied science and is a graduate of an accredited Veterinary Technician program. He loves all animals big and small and strives to give them the best care I can provide. Brad has 2 dogs and a cat at home that he absolutely adores. He loves music and art but most of all enjoys waking up everyday and being able to help animals. Brad looks forward to each day as a vet nurse and will provide the best possible care for your pet.


Remote Veterinary Nurse

Alena is a veterinary nurse that has been in the veterinary field for 20 years. She comes from a family of veterinarians. Both her parents are doctors of veterinary medicine so you could say she was born into the field and has always known that this would be her career. Alena loves cats and dogs but also enjoys horses. She is new to NC and is still looking for great places to go horseback riding. In her time outside of work she loves spending time cooking and experimenting with new recipes. She enjoys sketching with pencil and painting. She loves good food and drinks, music, fun company, but most of all she enjoys spending time with her husband of fourteen years and her seven year old daughter Stella.

Hunter Jordan

Veterinary Nurse

Nichelle Hunter Raghubir

Veterinary Nurse

Isabella Talancha

Veterinary Nurse

Melanie Faron

Veterinary Nurse

Veterinarians and Owner:

Dr. Jennifer Goetz

DVM, Owner

Dr. Goetz bear-hugs Rosie while Celeste bear-hugs Blizzard!

Dr Jennifer Goetz has loved animals her entire life. The first thing she ever asked her daddy for was a pet Hamster! (Unfortunately, the pet store was out of Hamsters and he locked his keys in the car!) Since 7th grade, she has wanted to become a veterinarian. She started first by volunteering at an animal hospital in 1984. She moved to North Carolina to go to veterinary school at NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992, starting there in 1993.

Dr Goetz now lives in Pittsboro with her husband, teenage daughter, six dogs, eight indoor cats, three outdoor feral cats, a dwarf bunny, chickens, guinea hens, fish, and many many plants. Her adopted fur babies include our amazing AHBC Hospital Cat, Slick. Slick is a senior Diabetic Main Coon kitty who has called AHBC home for several years.


Veterinarian Assistants

Dina Hussain

Veterinary Assistant

Crishauna McLaughlin

Veterinary Assistant

Alexa Bugaj

Veterinary Assistant

Kaleigh Edwards

Veterinary Assistant

Kenza Mahdi

Veterinary Assistant
Kenza Mahdi is a Vet assistant based in Durham, North Carolina. She holds a veterinary degree from the University of Banta (Algeria), she brings 7 years of animal care experience. Kenza moved to the US in 2023 and plans to advance her career in Animal care .In her free time Kenza likes to read, listen to music and go for long walks